Remembering Lew Howes
Col. Lewis Langdon Howes (USAF ret.) died October 13, 2006 at Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Although slowed by Alzheimer�s in his last years, as a former pilot with twenty-five years service in the Air Force, he found great pleasure in his views of the clear blue skies and the majestic mountain peaks of New Mexico. He had resided in Hampton, Virginia for over thirty years before moving to New Mexico in 2004.
Col. Howes entered military service in 1944 as a Second Lieutenant. He retired in 1968 while serving as Director of Personnel Management at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, where he was responsible for over 120 Vietnam military airlift units. He had previously headed a weather support unit for U.S. Forces in South Vietnam and Thailand. Among his many decorations were the National Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal (WWII), Army of Occupation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam), European, African, Middle East Campaign Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster. Col. Howes� favorite assignment was the 375th Air Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he flew reconnaissance missions to detect radiation from suspected Russian atomic testing. He wrote a book about his experiences, The Nuclear Explosion Detection System and the Role of The Air Weather Reconnaissance Program.
After his retirement from the Air Force, Col. Howes moved to Hampton, VA and joined the real estate firm of Harrison & Lear Inc. Mr. Howes assisted in Partnership Management of several multi-family projects. His contribution to the company led to his election to the Board of Directors and his appointment as General Partner of several projects. Lew was one of the founders of the Howes Family Association. Cousin Al Howes never met him, but communicated with him by snail-mail and phone calls. He really wanted to 'find' our Thomas & Mary roots in England. Col. Howes was born in 1922 in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of Lewis Langdon and Mary Helen Gollner Howes. He received a B.S. in Natural Science from the University of Ohio and a Certificate in Meteorology from the University of Chicago.